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I first created this site back in 1998 to document the wild plants that I encountered.  But it has grown into a clearinghouse of information on landscaping, backyard birds, butterfly gardening, plant identification and making paper from plant fiber. After leaving Kansas, I thought of deleting the site. But realize it has a wealth of information that people rely upon.

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About Reference Books

These books are filled with a wealth of information on the topic of plants.

Identification of Weeds, Wildflowers, Grasses

Identification of Woody Trees, Shrubs, Vines

Restoration & Reconstruction of Habitats

Prairies and Grasslands

Landscaping with Native Plants

Butterfly & Pollinator Attracting and Identification

Papermaking from Plant Fiber

Identification of Weeds, Wildflowers, Grasses & other non-woody plants

Books about Kansas Wildflowers on Amazon

These are my favorite field guides for wildflowers.

Kansas Wildflowers and Weeds

by Michael John Haddock (Author), Craig C. Freeman (Author), Janét E. Bare (Author)

This is the book I turn to when I can't find a plant in my field guides. It contains all non-woody plants in Kansas.

Wildflowers and Grasses of Kansas: A Field Guide

by Michael J. Haddock (Author)

This title is a must have, as it covers the entire state of Kansas and includes grasses.

Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers (Wildflower Series)

by Doug Ladd (Author), Frank Oberle (Photographer)

This title is my favorite for the tallgrass prairie region. If you live in the eastern third of Kansas, this is the books to have. There is a 2nd edition of this book but it has a number of plants mislabeled.

Wildflowers of the Western Plains: A Field Guide

by Zoe Merriman Kirkpatrick (Author), Benny J. Simpson (Foreword), David K Northington (Foreword)

If you live in western Kansas this book will be the one you want.

Field Guide to the Common Grasses of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska

by Iralee Barnard (Author)

People find grasses difficult to identify, but now there is a book for people wanting to learn to identify our grasses.

Ozark Wildflowers (Wildflower Series)

by Don Kurz (Author)

I prefer this book when identifying woodland wildflowers. It is also a good choice for southeast Kansas, where the Ozarks enter the state.

Field Guide to the Common Weeds of Kansas

by T. M. Barkley (Author)

This guide covers common weeds found in Kansas. The county range maps are especially useful.

Identification of Woody Plants such as Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines

Books about Kansas Trees on Amazon

These titles focus strictly on woody plants.

Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines in Kansas

by H. A. Stephens (Author)

This is THE woody plants guide for Kansas. Its county range maps are extra helpful in identifying trees, shrubs and woody vines in the state.

Trees of Missouri Field Guide (Tree Identification Guides)

by Stan Tekiela (Author)

Many of the trees found in Missouri are also found in Kansas. Use this guide to help with tree identification.

Restoration & Reconstruction of Habitats

Books about Prairie Restoration on Amazon

These are books dealing with restoration and reconstruction of prairies, savannas, woodlands and wetlands.

The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook: For Prairies, Savannas, and Woodlands (The Science and Practice of Ecological Restoration Series)

by Stephen Packard (Editor), Cornelia F. Mutel (Editor)

If you are serious about restoring your land, this is a must have title.It includes species lists, management techniques, and invasive species control information.

A Practical Guide to Prairie Reconstruction: Second Edition (Bur Oak Book)

by Carl Kurtz (Author)

Use this book if you are planning on planting a prairie on old cropland.

The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Prairie Restoration in the Upper Midwest (Bur Oak Guide)

by Daryl Smith (Author), Dave Williams (Author), Greg Houseal (Author), Kirk Henderson (Author)

Another restoration guide for the midwest.

Wetland Drainage, Restoration, and Repair

by Thomas R. Biebighauser (Author)

A wetland restoration guide.

The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States (Bur Oak Book)

by Chris Helzer (Author)

Use this guide if you already have prairie lands but need to learn how to manage them.

Conducting Prescribed Fires: A Comprehensive Manual

by John R. Weir (Author)

Fire is an integral management tool in managing prairie and woodlands in the midwest.


Restoring the Tallgrass Prairie: An Illustrated Manual for Iowa and the Upper Midwest (Bur Oak Book)

by Shirley Shirley (Author)

This is an excellent guide to propagating many species of plants found on the prairie. It also has management information.

Prairies and Grasslands

Books about Prairies and Grasslands on Amazon

These books are good for understanding the prairie.

Prairie: A Natural History

by Candace Savage (Author)

This is a good book for understanding the various prairie types and their wildlife.

Prairie Directory of North America: The United States, Canada, and Mexico

by Charlotte Adelman (Author), Bernard Schwartz (Author)

This is a good book to use when searching out original prairies.

Prairie Directory of North America

by Charlotte Adelman (Author), Bernard Schwartz (Author)

This is a good book to use when searching out original prairies.

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded

by Douglas W. Tallamy (Author), Rick Darke (Foreword)

This book explains the importance of using native plants in our landscapes to support wildlife. In contrast it explains how most non-native plants support very little wildlife. Our native plants are eaten by herbivores (mostly insects). These insects in turn become food for other insects and many nesting birds. Without the insects, most birds find little to feed their nestlings. By creating landscapes of alien plants that support no insects, we create a sterile landscape. This book should be required reading for everyone. It really explains the roles of plants and insects in sustaining life on the planet.

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

by Rick Darke (Author), Douglas W. Tallamy (Author)


Native Trees for North American Landscapes

by Guy Sternberg (Author), James W. Wilson (Author), Jim Wilson (Author)

Trees are often an integral part of our landscapes, but most people do not plant our life sustaining native trees. This is an excellent guide for choosing our many unique and beautiful native trees & shrubs for landscaping. Of course these native trees support life by nurturing hundreds of insect species that in turn provide food for nesting birds.

The Prairie Garden: Seventy Native Plants You Can Grow in Town or Country

J. Robert Smith (Author) Beatrice S. Smith (Author)

Even though this is an older book (1980), it is still full of good advice for growing native prairie plants from seed. Its best quality are the detailed accounts on growing 70 species of prairie plants. Included in the accounts are height, flowering time, seed collection date, seed treatment, propagation, and companion plants. It's also a good guide for creating a small prairie planting.

Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People

by Dave Tylka (Author)

This is such a good book for landscaping in Missouri with native plants and works well in eastern Kansas as well.

Butterfly & Pollinator Attracting and Identification

Books about Butterflies and Pollinators on Amazon

Once you start growing native plants you will be amazed at the variety of butterflies and other pollinators that you attract. These reference books are a great resource for identification and providing necessary habitat.

A Photographic Field Guide to the Butterflies in the Kansas City Region

by Betsy Betros (Author)

For those in eastern Kansas and western Missouri this guide covers our common and rare butterflies of the region. I really like that it provides information on the life cycles of each species.

Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects

by The Xerces Society (Author)

This is a fantastic book that explains all the stages of a butterflies life and the host and nectar plants that they require to prosper.

Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide, Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies

by The Xerces Society (Author), Dr. Marla Spivak (Foreword)

This is another book that should be in everyone's personal library. Learn about our pollinators as well as their habitat needs for nesting and foraging.

Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants

by Heather N. Holm (Author)

Another favorite book. I like how it focuses on specific plant species and specific pollinator species.


Papermaking from Plant Fiber

Books about Making paper from Plants on Amazon

Some of my favorite books on making paper from plants.

The Papermaker's Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Making and Using Handmade Paper

by Helen Hiebert (Author)

A must have book that describes everything you need to know about making paper

Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds

by Helen Hiebert (Author)

The definite guide to making paper from plant fiber

Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft

by Dard Hunter (Author)

This is THE textbook of papermaking.

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